Belle Toujours (2006)

MANOEL DE OLIVEIRA Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  Portugal/France, 2006.  Filbox Produções, Les Films d’Ici, Instituto do Cinema, Audiovisual e Multimédia, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Radiotelevisão Portuguesa.  Screenplay by Manoel de Oliveira.  Cinematography by Sabine Lancelin.  Produced by Miguel Cadilhe.  Music by Lawrence Foster.  Production Design by Christian Marti.  Costume Design by Milena Canonero.  Film Editing by Valerie Loiseleux.  Toronto International Film Festival 2006….

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Go Go G-Boys (Dang wo men tong zai yi qi) (2006)

JONG-JONG YU Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.  Taiwan, 2006.  Times Entertainment, Sky Digi Entertainment.  Cinematography by Yi-Mao Su.   Incomprehensible nonsense about a young man who needs money to pay off his girlfriend’s debts.  He sees the perfect opportunity in a reality TV beauty and music contest for gay men that his best friend is entering, deciding to hide…

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John Tucker Must Die

BBB (out of 5) Charming comedy veers into lowbrow foolishness from time to time but is mostly a pleasant affair. Brittany Snow is weak in the main role as a perpetually ignored teenager who befriends three popular girls at school when she notices that they are all dating the school’s most popular jock student (Jesse Metcalfe)….

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The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift

BB.5 (out of 5) Lucas Black has gotten into trouble for the last time, a destructive drag race through an unfinished property development forcing him to leave the States and go live with his father in Tokyo (though I think in real life he would just go to jail?)  Adjusting to life in a new country…

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Climates (Iklimler)

BBBB (out of 5) Nuri Bilge Ceylan shoots in digital for the first time and the images are crisp and gorgeous in this subtle, sexy romantic drama.  He himself stars with his real-life wife (Ebru Ceylan) as a troubled couple, he a professor and she a television producer, who are having difficulties with intimacy while on…

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Lights In The Dusk (Laitakaupungin valot)

BBB (out of 5) Aki Kaurismaki goes for film noir in this gorgeously shot piece, played in a minor key.  A shopping mall security guard falls for a gorgeous, mysterious blond and leaves behind the faithful girl at the snack bar with whom he has been having a muted romance.  The blond is actually working…

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Private Fears In Public Places (Coeurs)

BBB (out of 5) Alan Ayckbourn’s play is given cinematic treatment by perennial experimenter Alain Resnais in this pleasant if not groundbreaking multi-character affair.  Love and loneliness in Paris is the age-old theme being touched upon by a disparate group of individuals who are all linked one way or the other:  real estate agent André…

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In Paris (Dans Paris)

BB.5 (out of 5) It’s a glamorous life when you are Louis Garrel, your brother is Romain Duris and your parents are Guy Marchand and Marie-France Pisier, so why is everyone so glum?  Duris had abandoned the bustle of the City of Lights for the suburban paradise of marriage, but when it falls apart and he is…

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Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

BB.5 (out of 5) Steven Shainberg follows up his breakout success Secretary with another film that promises to bring life on the margins to the forefront but is not nearly as boundary-busting as it thinks it is.  It’s a fictional story set amid a real one, at the point of famed photographer Diane Arbus’s early…

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Syndromes And A Century (Sang Sattawat)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Apichatpong Weerasethakul was inspired by his own family’s medical background to set a film within the confines of a hospital, abandoning the exotic folklore of forays into the jungle and creating images that are instead made up of mundane realities.  The result, which has a bare subplot of two doctors and…

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Scary Movie 4

BBB (out of 5) More mayhem that continues the surprisingly successful franchise of spoofs. Anna Faris is back, this time no longer with husband Charlie Sheen after a Viagra accident gets him thrown off his balcony and killed. She takes up nursing work for a catatonic old lady (a wasted Cloris Leachman) in a takeoff of…

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Last Holiday

BBB (out of 5) Queen Latifah‘s charms can be blamed for the enjoyment here, for while this feelgood comedy by Wayne Wang has most of its cliches telegraphed to the audience by megaphone, the star’s constant classy and unsentimental attitude are well in its favour. She plays a timid department store employee who dreams of…

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